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Apodaca v. Oregon

Supreme Court of the United States

March 1, 1971, Argued ; May 22, 1972, Decided

No. 69-5046


 [*405]   [***188]   [**1630]  MR. JUSTICE WHITE announced the judgment of the Court and an opinion in which THE CHIEF JUSTICE, MR. JUSTICE BLACKMUN, and MR. JUSTICE REHNQUIST joined.

 Robert Apodaca, Henry Morgan Cooper, Jr., and James Arnold Madden were convicted respectively of assault with a deadly weapon, burglary in a dwelling, and  [*406]  grand larceny before separate Oregon juries, all of which returned less-than-unanimous verdicts. The vote in the cases of Apodaca and Madden was 11-1, while the vote in the case of Cooper was 10-2, the minimum requisite vote under Oregon law for sustaining a conviction. 1 After  [***189]  their convictions had been affirmed by the Oregon Court of Appeals, 1 Ore. App. 483, 462 P. 2d 691 (1969), and review had been denied by the Supreme Court of Oregon, all three sought review in this Court upon a claim that conviction of crime by a less-than-unanimous jury violates the right to trial by jury in criminal cases [****5]  specified by the Sixth Amendment and made applicable to the States by the Fourteenth. See Duncan v. Louisiana, 391 U.S. 145 (1968). We granted certiorari to consider this claim, 400 U.S. 901 (1970), which we now find to be without merit.

 ] In Williams v. Florida, 399 U.S. 78 (1970),  [****6]  we had occasion to consider a related issue: whether the Sixth Amendment's right to trial by jury requires that all juries consist of 12 men. After considering the history of the 12-man requirement and the functions it performs in contemporary society, we concluded that it was not of constitutional stature. We reach the same conclusion today with regard to the requirement of unanimity.

 [*407]   [**1631]  I

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406 U.S. 404 *; 92 S. Ct. 1628 **; 32 L. Ed. 2d 184 ***; 1972 U.S. LEXIS 56 ****


Subsequent History:  [****1]  Reargued January 10, 1972.


Disposition:  1 Ore. App. 483, 462 P. 2d 691, affirmed.


unanimity, requisites, juries, convictions

Criminal Law & Procedure, Defendant's Rights, Right to Jury Trial, General Overview, Civil Procedure, Trials, Jury Trials, Right to Jury Trial, Constitutional Law, Fundamental Rights, Criminal Process, Juries & Jurors, Size of Jury, Bill of Rights, Verdicts, Unanimity, Challenges to Jury Venire, Fair Cross Section Challenges